What an interesting book!
Being somewhat obsessed by art, art museums, the creative process, and art history, I found this book really eye-opening. My reading made me aware of just how unaware I am about the actual goings on within the world of the art. Everyone has a different angle, it seems. When you walk into an art museum and see the work in the different galleries, what's there is a culmination of a series of deliberate wranglings by artist, agent, gallery owner, collector, museum trustee, curator, and yes, passive observer. All are wrapped up in this symbiotic relationship that serves to deliver 'ART' to the world. The decisions that every one of those players make help to set taste and aesthetic standards that reverberate around the world, hither and yon in an ever-changing see-saw of art shows, media events, gallery openings, museum exhibits, art auctions, fantastic thefts, news stories, social reactions, and new artistic avenues. Art is always in flux, always moving toward the next big thing, always reacting to society's thrum, always rubbing up against morals and politics and leaving paint stains or make-up smears or stone dust or film clippings for people to brush off. Look at. Laud . Ignore. Buy. Sell. Rant on. Art is all about action and reaction.
Sarah Thornton has a pretty good gig. She got to explore the different facets of the art world in order to give us a full face view of its players. Her take is like reading a cultural study in an anthropology class ... different social roles within a sub-culture get a section for exploration and discussion. When the book is considered as a whole, one gets a thought-provoking Gestalt to ponder.
If you are intrigued by the artist's world, check this book out. Highly readable, unintimidating, pretty complete in its scope, and NOT at all dry and didactic.